Self-sustainability is defined by the Webster dictionary as ‘able to live without the help or support from others’. When ChildsLife begins working with a local partner or beneficiary the focus is on strengthening, guiding and equipping towards self-sustainability. With very few exceptions, the goal is for beneficiaries and local organisations supported to no longer need the support of ChildsLife. By becoming self sustaining the way out of live in poverty can be reached.
ChildsLife helps communities, schools, local organizations and individuals to plan further and develop creative solutions for becoming self sustaining. Depending on local possibilities in each project case, ChildsLife will examine various options of sustainable development and implement a tailor made solution for each project.
Give a school a herd
In 2012 ChildsLife started the project ‘Give a school a herd’ which gives schools in Maasai communities a source of income to begin to become self sustaining. ChildsLife donates a minimum of 5 cows or 15 goats per school.
Livestock has always been the main livelihood for the pastoralist Maasai, livestock rearing is something they understand well. Each school looks after and grows the herds and sell offspring after some time. The income this generates is used for the purchase of school materials, food for school lunches, furniture, teachers’ salaries or school repairs.
This income generating activity is managed by the schools management committees in conjunction with the PTA (Parents Teachers Association).
Since 2012, 7 schools successfully partake in this project.
Greenhouses at communities and schools
The building of greenhouses is an effective and tested method of moving communities and schools onto the path of self-sustainability. The installation of greenhouses decreases hunger, increases nutrition and provides communities or schools with a structural source of income.
In many rural areas of Africa, too much sun, too little rain and pest infestations result in drastically reduced food supplies. For small farmers and communities all of this results not only in famine, but also in no money to buy food. A greenhouse uses less water, can be operated organically, and food can be grown for a village. Surplus food can also be sold to help maintain the greenhouse operation as well provide an income for the farmers.
ChildsLife places greenhouses at schools and communities. After installation the greenhouse is placed under school or community management. The produce of the greenhouses is utilized for schools or community feeding programs. In addition, as greenhouses provide more crop than required for consumption, the remaining crop is sold at local markets. This income is re-invested in the school.
Greenhouse at a school in Sultan Hamud
The construction of a greenhouse at a school in Sultan Hamud in Kenya, which offers education and shelter to 155 girls aged 10 to 14 years old. The greenhouse provides the girls with fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition, the surplus crop is sold at local markets which generates an income for the school. With this source of income the school is able to buy school materials and cover the teachers’ salaries.
A herd for Leshuta primary school
In 2015 ChildsLife purchased a herd of 20 goats for Leshuta Primary School in Olepolos, a Maasai community in Kenia. The project has been a success so far and both the school and Leshuta community are involved.
The herd started growing soon after purchase which resulted in the school being able to sell some of the goats and reinvest the profits into the school.
Fitness Centre at ChildsLife Vocational Centre
The ChildsLife Vocational Centre in the heart of the Slum of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya was fitted with a fitness center. The fitness center is equipped with new equipment and furniture, donated by ChildsLife.
The fitness center, attracting many youth and young adults, charges a monthly contribution fee. This income is invested in the ChildsLife Vocational Centre and helps to recuperate daily running cost of the centre.
Mchanganyiko women’s group
The Mchanganyiko women’s group was set up through sustainable development support of ChildsLife. To deploy this successful initiative, ChildsLife equipped the group with the necessary buildings, materials, furniture and a water tank. The Mchanganyiko women’s group has run successfully for 18 years and the women are able to generate their own income by renting out rooms for meetings, selling water and soft drinks. It also provides a kindergarten for forty children between 3- 6 years, which in turn gives other mothers the chance to work while their children are safe and receive an education.